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Although his regiment fled it preserved its colours, and « the noble lord himself remained in the service all that night.” Some of his opponents asserted that out of cowardice he took refuge in a sawpit, a story for which there was probably little foundation. It does not appear, however, that he took any further part in military actions. By his natural disposition he was more adapted for council than for war; and he was well described by Locke, with reference to events of a later date, as “an old and expert Parliament man, a great friend to the Protestant religion, and interest in England."
THE TRIUMPH OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ARMY,
1645. “ After the last fortress of the Cavaliers had submitted to the Parliament, the Parliament was compelled to submit to its own soldiers.”—MACAULAY.
The war went on for a while with indecisive results ; and concerning its progress, Colonel Goodwin often wrote to his daughter, “sweet, dear Jenny” (Lady Jane), at the house of Lord Wharton in Clerkenwell, London (1642-3). The Parliament then sought the assistance of the Scots, who were in sympathy with the English Puritans; which was promised on the condition of adopting the Solemn League and Covenant against “Popery and Prelacy”; and in the beginning of 1644 an army of 12,000 Scots marched into England. Lord Wharton was on the Committee of Both Kingdoms, which was set up in February as the Executive in the War Department, and met at Derby House, Westminsterfour Scotsmen and twenty-one English. He wrote from Derby House, June 27th, to the Parliament of Scotland, asking for further assistance, and was in frequent correspondence with garrisons held for the Parliament. The battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd) was fatal to the Royalists in the North of England, and the victory was chiefly due to Cromwell and his Ironsides. Wharton supported the Self-denying Ordinance, the formation of
the New Model, and the appointment of Fairfax as Lord-General instead of Essex ; and at Naseby (June 14th, 1645) the triumph of the Parliament was assured.
Some differences having arisen with respect to the Scottish army in England, Wharton was appointed with other Commissioners to visit Scotland and compose them (July 12th, 1645). He was there for several months, and on his return gave an account of the negotiations to the House of Lords (November 11th), and received the thanks of the House for his pains in the business. A settlement with the King was now confidently expected, and it was voted in Parliament that amongst the honours proposed to be conferred by the King on the chiefs of the Parliament and army, an earldom should be conferred on Lord Wharton; but, as the negotiations for peace failed, he never received this honour.
Charles I. would not consent to a limitation of his prerogative, nor any alteration in the Episcopal government of the Church, and sought to maintain his supremacy by fomenting the differences between the Presbyterians and the Independents, the Parliament and the army. The Presbyterians formed a majority in Parliament, and were bent on establishing the National Church on a Presbyterian basis; but the Independents, of whom the army was largely composed, demanded a wider religious liberty than such a system permitted. The King then fled to the Scots (May 5th, 1646), and Wharton was named in the propositions of the House sent to him at Newcastle as one of the Commissioners for conserving the peace of the two kingdoms. But, refusing to take the Covenant, Charles was delivered up to the Parliamentary Commissioners (January 30th, 1647), and subsequently taken possession of by the army.
When the majority in Parliament proposed to disband the army, the citizen - soldiers refused to disperse until the purposes for which they had taken up arms were accomplished. Further negotiations went forward, during which the King entered into a secret treaty with the Scots to acknowledge the Presbyterian discipline in England for three years, and to suppress the Independents and all other sects; and the army leaders, feeling that he could no more be trusted, resolved that he should be “ brought to justice.”
In his brief account of his own course of life Lord Wharton passes lightly over this critical juncture and says: “Fortune favoured the Parliamentary party; and in 1648, after some unsuccessful negotiations, the King (then imprisoned in the Isle of Wight) offered a compromise (the terms of the Treaty of Newport], which many members thought sufficient for the establishment of peace; but after a debate lasting twenty hours, and an affirmative was given, next morning before the House met, sixty members were imprisoned by the leaders of the army. ["Pride's Purge,” December 6th, 1648, by which the army became master of Parliament.] I at once withdrew from public life, and buried myself in the country” (taking no part in the trial and execution of the King, and declining all share in public affairs). (Letter to von Spaen.)
THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1643–1649.
“They were perhaps equal in learning, good sense, and other merits to any Lower House of Convocation that ever made a figure in England”-HALLAM.
This famous assembly was summoned, in accordance with an ordinance of the Long Parliament (June 12th, 1643), “ to be consulted for the settling of the Government and Liturgy of the Church of England"; and Lord Wharton was one of the Commissioners appointed to call it together. It met on July 1st, 1643, and was composed of ten Lords and twenty Commoners, as lay assessors, and 121 Divines, Lord Wharton being one of the lay assessors. They all took the Solemn League and Covenant at St. Margaret's, Westminster (September 25th), “lifting up their right hands to heaven, worshipping the great name of God and giving their sacred pledge."*
At first Lord Wharton took a zealous interest in its proceedings, and appeared to favour the proposals for the establishment of a National Presbyterian Church ; but when the majority of its members refused to allow a toleration for “gathered churches” (independent of external control), he supported Goodwin, Nye, and other “Dissenting brethren” in their contention for larger liberty, and was described as “one of the prime leaders of the Independent Juncto.”+ He even moved (December, 1645) in the House of Lords to adjourn, that is really to dissolve, the Assembly. “You know his metal,” wrote Baillie, the Scottish Presbyterian; “he is as fully as ever for that party.” The majority, however, prevailed, and at their advice numerous ordinances were passed for the setting up of Classical Presbyteries; but owing to the triumph of the army the Presbyterian discipline (was never endowed with coercive authority, and remained a mere Parliamentary project. “The Parliament kept the coercive power in their own hands, not trusting the Presbytery to carry the keys at their girdle" (Thomas Fuller). The Assembly held its last meeting on February 22nd, 1649.
Lord Wharton was on the Committee for removing “scandalous," i.e. inefficient, immoral or demonstratively Royalist, incumbents; and was particularly zealous in filling the vacant livings with godly and devoted men. In a letter to Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax (February 5th, 1645) he expressed his desire that upon the sequestration of Grinton Vicarage, in Swaledale, "an honest, faithful, godly man might be put in, who might be of a bold spirit and an able body.” “Most of the dale,” he adds, “are in my hands, and I would be exceeding glad, therefore, out of that respect, as well as the general, that it were well supplied."! In succeed
"History of the Westminster Assembly," by Dr. Hetherington, 1888. + Tract by Walker, quoted in Hanbury's “Historical Memorials relating to the Independents," III. 333, note.
# Fairfax Correspondence, iii. 143, 157.
ing years, when Episcopacy and the Book of Common Prayer were set aside, he placed Puritans in the livings of which he was patron or with respect to which he had influence. One of these was Thomas Gilbert, B.D., an Independent or Congregationalist, who,“ by the favour of Lord Wharton, became minister of Upper Winchendon,” and, being silenced at the Restoration, “ frequently preached privately, particularly in the family of Lord Wharton.”
Another was John Gunter, LL.B., also an Independent, who was presented by Lord Wharton to the Rectory of Waddesdon, Bucks, and subsequently by Cromwell (who is said to have respected him for his uncle Col. Gunter's sake, and made him his chaplain) to the valuable Rectory of Bedale, Yorkshire, whence he was ejected at the Restoration. Another, Matthew Hill, M.A., who first settled at Healaugh, and was subsequently ejected by the Act of Uniformity, at Thirsk. And another, the worthy and devoted John Rogers, M.A.,* who was presented by Lord Wharton to Croglin, Cumberland (1660), where he was ejected ; and subsequently had licence (1672) to preach at Lartington, near Barnard Castle,
Wharton, like Cromwell (as shown by the constitution of the Broad Church of the Protectorate), was chiefly concerned that the ministers of the parish churches, whatever might be their sentiments as to Church government and discipline, should be “able ministers of the New Testament.”
FRIENDSHIP WITH CROMWELL. “Cromwell was no divinely inspired hero, indeed, or faultless monster, but a brave, honourable man, striving according to his lights, to lead his countrymen into the paths of peace and godliness." -PROF. GARDINER.
" Philip, Lord Wharton,” says Carlyle, “ seems to have been a zealous Puritan, much concerned with preachers,
* Rogers was brother-in-law of Ambrose Barnes, of Newcastle, and lived in the house and native village of the latter at Startforth, Barnard Castle (where he had been formerly minister); preached and died there 1680.